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Dutch police arrest Utrecht shooting suspect

Three people were killed in the shooting [AFP]

Date of publication: 18 March, 2019

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Turkish-born Gokmen Tanis, who is suspected of carrying out an attack on a tram in Utrecht, has been arrested by police.

Dutch police on Monday arrested the suspect in a shooting on a tram in the city of Utrecht in which three people were killed, a police chief said.

"We have just been informed that the suspect has been arrested," Utrecht police chief Rob van Bree told a news conference.

Police had earlier said they were searching for Turkish-born suspect Gokmen Tanis, 37, and issued a picture of him.

The head of the Dutch national counter-terrorism service, Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg, confirmed "the arrest of the main suspect for the shooting".

He said authorities had lowered the threat level in Utrecht from the maximum level five as a result of the arrest.

Local media earlier showed photographs of masked, armed police and emergency vehicles surrounding a tram that had stopped near a road bridge.

Tram traffic in the area was halted, operator Qbuzz was quoted as saying by the ANP news agency.

"A possible terrorist motive is part of the investigation", Utrecht police said on Twitter. 

The head of the Dutch national counter-terrorism service, Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg, said on Twitter that he was having "crisis consultations", adding: "Terrorist motive not excluded. Information not yet full."

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